We are thrilled to welcome Kerry Wade, Megan McJennett and Vitoria Lin to the Best Starts for Kids Team Policy and Program Team. Kerry, Megan and Vitoria will be helping to roll-out the next phase of Best Starts for Kids which includes providing project management for the BSK implementation plan, continued work with the Children and Youth Advisory Board and building connections between BSK and other related initiatives in our region.
Read more about them below!
Kerry Wade, Community Partnerships Program Manager, Department of Community and Human Services
Kerry Wade has an extensive background in political and community engagement derived from her experience in statewide political campaigns, community service, race and social justice advocacy. Kerry joins us from the City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods where she served as outreach and engagement staff and in-community contact for West Seattle. In addition to her work at the Department of Neighborhoods, Kerry was a member of the city’s Race and Social Justice Core Team IV where participants address strategies to end institutional racism in city government. She was also one of the original founders of the People’s Academy for Community Engagement, a City of Seattle leadership institute. Kerry graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a Bachelor of Arts in Critical Social Thought with an emphasis on race and class analysis, and the impact on society and politics. Kerry has always had a strong sense of volunteerism and has a passion in anti-domestic violence work and community networking and service. In her spare time, Kerry enjoys daily walks with her dog Drummer, trivia with friends, singing, and civic engagement.
Megan McJennett, 5-24 Policy and Program Manager, Department of Community and Human Services
Megan McJennett has worked over her 20 year career with children of all ages and their families. Her roles have varied from home visiting teen moms and their babies through Head Start to working with youth, whether in the mountains of Guatemala or the neighborhoods of Washington, D.C. The scope of her work has spanned from the national level working on education issues to the state level supporting programs that improve early learning opportunities in Washington for our youngest residents. Most recently she was the New Futures Program Director at Southwest Youth and Family Services where she supported programs for families and youth living in three low income housing complexes in South King County. She is looking forward to this new challenge and working for the youth in all of King County. Megan lives in Seattle with her husband and two children. She enjoys activities with them as well as taking some time for herself by working in her garage, refinishing furniture.
Vitoria Lin, Prenatal – 5 Policy and Program Manager, Public Health – Seattle & King County
Vitoria Lin brings 15 years of experience in public policy analysis, research and recommendation development, and project management. Most recently, she spent six years with Building Changes, an intermediary dedicated to ending family and youth homelessness in Washington State. There she facilitated efforts in King County to eliminate racial disparities and disproportionality in housing outcomes for youth accessing homeless services, built internal staff capacity to advance racial equity in their work, and sought to connect the homeless and health care systems to better meet the physical and behavioral health needs of families experiencing homelessness. Before then, Vitoria worked in Washington, D.C. and Seattle for nonprofit organizations and elected officials on a wide variety of socioeconomic issues. She received her Master in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School. In her spare time, Vitoria and her partner Mark enjoy exploring Seattle’s parks, children’s museums, and toddler classes with their two-year old, Simone.